The NewsDemon Blog

Newsgroup Spotlight: Apple and Mac Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 27th, 2009

apple-newsgroups

With recent news of the new operating system from Apple, Snow Leopard, many on newsgroups are pinning it against the awaited Windows 7.

Considering that Snow Leopard is more of an update to the current Mac OS, it seems uneven to compare an updated OS release to a full fledged OS modification as Windows 7 presents itself.

This is just one of the current topics of debate you’ll find on Apple newsgroups. These newsgroups have had a long history on USENET and have provided one of the first forms of online communication between mac users.

The general newsgroup for Apple users, comp.sys.mac, has long been centered around the different Operating Systems that Apple has released. Others relating to Apple Hardware, Graphics and Portable Devices have had their own unique communities and topics.

As the generation of Apple has grown, so have the related newsgroups. Since the release of the iPod and iPhone by Apple, a multitude of newsgroups relating to each have remained active in tandem with each of their products popularity.

For over twenty years, Apple newsgroups have made a connection between users to share, discuss and educate each other on Apple related products and continue to pioneer news and information regarding upcoming Apple technologies.



64-Bit USENET Newsgroup Newsreaders Now Possible With Snow Leopard

By Newsgroup Usenet August 24th, 2009

snow-leopardAfter taking down the site for a few minutes, Apple brought it back up today  and announced that Mac OS X version 10.6, known as Snow Leopard, will go on sale this Friday, August 28 at Apple’s retail stores.

Apple has stated that Snow Leopard would predominantly be about streamlining both the size and speed of the OS. Installing Snow Leopard should take about half the time of performing a Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard install, and it’s expected that you’ll gain about 7 GB of space back on your hard disk.

The main point of the new release seems to be speed. Apple claims that the installation of the system now hogs up to 6GB less hard drive space, while fine tuning should see all users of Intel Macs noticing performance improvements right across the board.

The under-the-hood improvements that Apple has made to the new OS boasts of faster times for everything from installation to waking the computer from sleep to system shutdown. This could represent a boost in accessing USENET newsgroups.

A single user version of Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade from Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard for $29, a family-pack version that’s licensed for up to five Macs within a household will cost $49, and an updated Mac Box Set, which will include Snow Leopard, iLife ’09, and iWork ’09 will cost $169.

Looking at it historically, pricing is surprisingly low for an Apple product, fueling fire that this may be an attempt to be more aggressive in its competition with Microsoft. Windows 7 is slated to be released in October.

Additionally, it may reflect the new system’s relative lack of new features. Apple’s own website doesn’t pull any punches, trumpeting Snow Leopard’s arrival with the headline: “The all-new, exactly-the-same Finder”.

The most popular newsreaders for the Mac, Panic Unison and BinBot, seem to be unaffected by this upgrade. However, users may experience a slight performance boost due to these new upgraded features.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Creating Big-8 Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 19th, 2009

big-8-usenet-newsgroupsOver the past few months, we’ve covered a number of USENET newsgroups that cover a variety of different topics. But what if you wanted to create a newsgroup on your own?

The first thing you would need to do is check and see if the newsgroup already exists. Most newsreaders allow a search function that can search the thousands of USENET newsgroups available, and by the keyword you search for, return the results of any groups that may be similar to the one you’re looking to create.

Do as much research as possible and search the internet as well to any reference of a newsgroup similar to the one you are looking to create.

Second, visit the newsgroup, news.groups.proposals. Read through the discussions and craft a message to the newsgroup with your request with an RFD Proposal.  Example of formatting here

Determining if you prefer an ALT or a BIG-8 Newsgroup is your next step while you wait for your response.

Generally, newsgroups that start with “alt.*” are usually unmanaged and may not need to follow any preset requirements. The Big-8 on the other hand, is governed by a management board and have a selection of them.

We’ve compiled the requirements to make it simpler in an easy to use guide on creating a newsgroup in the Big-8. This will get you started in creating a proper newsgroup.

We’ll be including another guide soon regarding creating ALT newsgroups as well.



Microsoft Newsgroups: IE8 Safest Browser According To Lab Results

By Newsgroup Usenet August 17th, 2009

BrowsersThose who made the upgrade to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 will be pleased to learn that the browser has proven to be the most effective at blocking malware, following a recent study by NSS Labs. However, some experts question the validity of the results.

Internet Explorer 8 blocked about four out of every five sites that attempt to trick visitors into downloading malicious software in browser security tests performed by NSS Labs, according to a report released yesterday.

Microsoft on Thursday released NSS Labs research on several of its own newsgroups indicating that IE 8 excels at blocking phishing and malware attacks. These newsgroup posts reveal that in Microsoft-sponsored testing at a Texas lab, NSS found that IE 8 and an open-source Firefox browser from Mozilla tied for first place when it came to catching “social-engineering” phishing attacks.

“We’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about the socially engineered malware threat because it is currently the biggest problem users face. However, phishing remains a prevalent and important threat to users as well. We’re continuously making improvements to our data sources and intelligence systems that deliver phishing protection. This continuous investment keeps IE in the market-leading position it established with the release of the Phishing Filter in IE7. Since then, Internet Explorer 7 and 8 have blocked over 125 million phishing attacks,” said Eric Lawrence, IE PM

NSS tested a total of five Windows-based browsers including: IE8, Firefox 3.0.11, Safari 4.0.2, Chrome 2.0.0.172.33 and Opera 10 beta. The browsers were to defend their users against more than 2,100 malware sites in 69 tests run over a 12-day period.

Mozilla’s Firefox 3.0, was able to catch just 27% of the same infected sites. Apple’s Safari 4.0 blocked out 21% of the corrupt online destinations, while Google’s Chrome 2.0 was good for a 7% total. Opera Software’s browser provided the most dismal figure, identifying just 1% of the infected sites.

The tests did not include sites that use hidden exploits and drive-by-download attacks to attempt to install malware without your ever having a chance to recognize an attack.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Real Estate and Housing Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 12th, 2009

real-estate-housing

For those in the Real Estate industry, USENET newsgroups have long been an indispensable resource. Real Estate and Housing newsgroups are places where like-minded individuals gather to swap information and advice.

USENET newsgroups are broken into sub topics related to the different aspects associated with the Real Estate and the Housing markets covering much of the world. Housing Newsgroups have long existed for those people who are interested in buying real estate, discussing the buying process, picking a home, finding services, finding information about foreclosures, short sales, mortgages, and much more.

USENET newsgroups offer hundreds of real estate articles and guides on how to get started in Real Estate – whatever the role.

With dozens of different newsgroups to choose from, anything and everything you want to know about the Real Estate profession and Housing can be found on newsgroups. No other online source comes close to providing the same high level of information than what USENET newsgroups have to offer.

All aspects of Real Estate are covered on USENET – from Interior Design Newsgroups to Home Ownership Discussion Groups.

As the housing market becomes a center point of America’s attention recently, a number of housing related newsgroups have experienced a huge spike of new subscribers. Looking for answers on a variety of aspects of Real Estate, USENET again remains a necessity for many to stay informed.



Newsgroups Report Latest Twitter Fail Due To DDoS Attack

By Newsgroup Usenet August 10th, 2009

Twitter FailLate last week was not a pleasant one for many Twitter users as the site was hit by a massive DDos attack which made sure the site went down for at least a couple of hours. It did come back up though. However, many newsgroup discussions are around how Twitter just hasn’t felt the same ever since it’s been back up.
The service was unavailable for hours last Thursday and was not running smoothly Friday.

The attack seems to have been a politically motivated one where the attacker wanted to silence a user from Georgia who was using popular social networking sites
as a base to voice his issues. The massive cyber attack against the Georgian blogger that caused a global knockout of Twitter slowed several other popular web sites; Facebook and LiveJournal

While the intention might have been to “silence” one user, it had resulted in Twitter being rendered unusable. Some USENET newsgroups represent the first examples of how messy flame wars could get. Some of the most historic flame wars were created by some of the first to join the USENET. However, due to the way that USENET works, the entire network could not have been affected by a DDoS attack as it was with Twitter.

“I am not happy that [my] blogs were attacked,” said the blogger, speaking on his cell phone from outside the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. “But it is good that I get famous. I think Obama knows about me, because he likes Internet news.”

Giorgy said he was surprised and dismayed that the attack had brought down Twitter all over the world.

Facebook said Friday that the bloggers pages at Facebook and LiveJournal were targeted in the attack. It said it had isolated the trouble and that service for its more than 250 million users had returned to normal.

Just like USENET newsgroups, millions of people have come to rely on Twitter and the like to express their innermost thoughts and to keep up with world news and celebrity gossip. An estimated 10 million people around the world use Twitter, while Facebook has around 250 million active members. Normal service has been restored to all sites in the days following the cyber attacks.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Linux Operating System Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 5th, 2009

As Windows 7 has been released to manufacturing, the popularity of other operating systems still increase. Apple has seen great increase in sales of desktop and mobile computing devices while Linux has been making a monumental move from the geek dorm to the living room by being pre-packaged by big name manufacturers.

DELL, HP and Acer have been leading an incentive to bring different flavors of the Linux OS to market. Ubuntu being considered the favorite of many, others are being utilized dependent on their usage.

Linux newsgroups have existed almost since the dawn of USENET newsgroups, with specific newsgroups relating to each Linux distribution. Since Linux has always been open source, different distributions have been created to cater to the needs of the user. From personal to enterprise versions of Linux available, Linux has grown to 600 variations of the popular operating system.
Below are some of the more popular newsgroups relating to each operating system distribution:
alt.os.debian – Free distribution of the Linux based operating system which is maintained and updated through the work of many volunteers and users. Other Debian operating system discussion groups include:

alt.os.linux.debian

alt.pl.comp.os.linux.debian
alt.os.linux.mandriva – Mandriva Linux includes many graphical administration assistants & wizards that make it intuitive and fun to use while providing all the power and robustness of other Linux systems.
alt.os.linux.redhat– Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a high-end Linux distribution geared toward businesses with mission-critical needs. Other Redhat operating system discussion groups include:

linux.redhat

linux.redhat.install

alt.linux.redhat

Redhat has a host of other newsgroups specific to each aspect of the operating system and available packages for the OS.

alt.pl.comp.os.linux.fedora– Fedora is RedHat’s plan to develop a complete, general purpose operating system exclusively from free software. The distribution was created to replace low-end, comsumer versions of RedHat Linux.

alt.linux.suse – openSUSE has received high praise from its users due to apple-esque polished desktop environments, courtesy of KDE and GNOME. It is one of the most documented distributions available.

Another openSUSE operating system discussion group can be found at:

alt.os.linux.suse

alt.os.linux.ubuntu – The most common and popular, Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease-of-installation. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you’ll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools. The graphical installer enables you to get up and running quickly and easily. Another version similar, Kubuntu , is based off this distribution.



Internet Newsgroups: Mozilla Firefox Reaches 1 Billion Downloads

By Newsgroup Usenet August 3rd, 2009

Firefox 1 Billion ServedToday, Mozilla launched a new website celebrating one billion Firefox downloads. The big event happened last Thursday night, according to the company’s official download counter reported on internet browser newsgroups.

This 1 billion figure includes users downloading multiple copies for different computers in addition to manual downloads for upgrading purposes, although automatic updates and downloads from USENET newsgroups are not counted. It makes one wonder how long before it would hit the 1 billion mark if newsgroup downloads of the software were counted since 2004.

“This is a monumental event – Firefox has come a long way since its debut in November 2004, thanks to the amazing Firefox community,” Mozilla wrote in a blog post. “Volunteers from all over the world contribute to the coding, testing and spreading of Firefox to communities across the globe.”

The fact that Mozilla has recorded one billion Firefox downloads by itself doesn’t prove the Web browser has become a formidable competitor to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It’s Firefox’s reputation for superior security, rapid patching of security holes and its multitude of browser extentions that has allowed it to win converts among corporate and personal Web users.

Firefox more or less holds 31% of the market share, second only to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer who is seeing their 60% grip loosening by the day. Other browsers such as Opera, Chrome and Safari have a lot of work to do if they were to catch up.



Mobile Newsgroups: First Touchscreen PC Tablet Crunchpad Coming Soon

By Newsgroup Usenet July 31st, 2009

Techcrunch and a Singapore company are hoping to have Crunchpad, the world’s first true PC tablet, ready for release by November of this year.

The Singapore start-up company Fusion Garage is racing to be the first in the world to bring an almost mythical creature – the touch screen tablet computer – to the market.

According messages on USENET newsgroups, the tablet device is designed for users to consume content rather than create it, similar to a netbook. The operating system was developed in-house by Fusion Garage and the device will have no storage space and will instead run programs hosted on servers: so-called cloud computing. The OS is a customized version of Linux and it was developed specifically for this device.

The CrunchPad touch screen internet tablet will launch by November, just in time for the Christmas buying rush. The company has teamed up with Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, to help get the product out of the door. Earlier, Arrington had promised an event to unveil the CrunchPad in late July or early August.

It would lack any form of storage as it is focused on using web based services for all the tasks.

Newsgroup discussions further reveal that it will reportedly include both Wi-Fi and 3G access, a custom OS based on Webkit and one USB port. At 13 inches by 8 inches and at 2.6 pounds, it will supposedly look and weigh less than a MacBook Air.

Main Specs:

* Connectivity: WiFi & 3G, with option for mobile broadband
* Dimensions: 12.77 x 7.83 x 0.74″
* Hardware: 1.6GHz Atom & 1GB RAM
* Peripherals: 1x USB port built-in, for keyboard or mouse
* Price: Unconfirmed, estimated US$399 (approx. S$575)
* Screen: 12″
* Software: Webkit browser/operating system, developed by the Fusion Garage team
* Weight: 1.2kg



Newsgroup Spotlight: Stock and Investment Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet July 29th, 2009

Saving money can be much easier when you have the information as well as the steps to put that information into use. That’s what stock and investment newsgroups have centered around; to share that all important information and explain how to use it to take control of your finances, allowing you to save and gain.
Surviving and thriving in ever changing markets demands perpetual focus and 20/20 vision. Stock and Investment newsgroups can be a valuable supplement to keeping a honed eye on the world and can be the key difference between success and failure.
Newsgroups have and can provide both entrepreneurs , investors and companies a more efficient way to pass information swiftly and intelligently. USENET stock and investment newsgroups provide the community it supports the ability to:
• Post messages and read messages by others
• Search posts for relevant discussions
• Screen the markets and discuss recent activity
• Scan sector and industry categories to locate company message boards
• Stay updated with today’s top stories and discuss recent headlines
• Follow company financial data, including quotes, charts and news
Many USENET newsgroups exist on investing and the stock market. The general investment newsgroup, misc.invest provides discussions of the latest financial developments and funding sources throughout the world. Covering a multitude of topics ranging from public finance, taxes, banking services and new industry specific trends. Other newsgroups, such as misc.invest.funds is a centered discussion group for mutual funds, and the group misc.invest.stocks is solely centered around the rise and falls of stocks.
Whatever the focus of finance, there are newsgroups that exist around them. From Funds, Futures to Technical newsgroups, USENET hosts a number of user sustained discussion groups around each topic.